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Updated on August 3, 2022

Mixing Shrooms & Alcohol - Effects & Risks

Ellie Swain
Elena Borrelli M.S.PAC
Written by 
8 Sources Cited
Ellie Swain
Written by 
8 Sources Cited

Mixing Shrooms and Alcohol 

Using magic mushrooms (shrooms) and alcohol together can have unpredictable results. Health professionals recommend against recreational drugs, especially combining alcohol and drugs like shrooms.

Alcohol and shrooms affect the brain in many of the same ways. Mixing substances that act similarly enhance the effects, side effects, and potential risks.

Some users believe that combining alcohol and mushrooms can lessen the effect of each drug. However, it may also make it more challenging to think clearly.1

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What are Shrooms?

The United States classifies shrooms as an illegal drug. Shrooms are mushrooms containing psilocybin. This is a natural hallucinogenic and psychoactive compound.

This drug can cause hallucinations and an inability to determine the difference between fantasy and reality. People usually use shrooms recreationally, but it is important to know they can have many negative effects.

Side effects from shrooms may include:2

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Panic attacks
  • Delusions
  • Feelings of detachment from objects, people, and surroundings
  • Psychotic-like episodes

The psilocybin in mushrooms can have mind-altering effects. Reality can seem distorted. It causes hallucinations as it acts on serotonin receptors in the brain and other areas of the body. 

Serotonin and psilocybin can bind to serotonin receptors. When psilocybin is present in the body, it competes with serotonin to bind them. 

These receptors control our emotions and moods. They also control learning, memory, behavior, appetite, and other processes. 

Alcohol and Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are a type of drug which can potentially inflict harm and cause addiction. They’re even more dangerous when used with alcohol.

Taking hallucinogens and drinking alcohol simultaneously is risky for a person’s physical and mental health. However, people combine hallucinogens and alcohol because they think the mixture may enhance their hallucinations.

Lifestyles and settings that encourage alcoholism may also promote using hallucinogenic drugs.

Side effects of hallucinogens include:4

  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Intensified feelings and sensory experiences
  • Changes in the sense of time
  • Increased blood pressure, breathing rate, or body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleep issues
  • Spiritual experiences
  • Feelings of relaxation
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Excessive sweating
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Bizarre behaviors

Side effects of alcohol include:

  • Feelings of relaxation or drowsiness
  • A sense of euphoria or giddiness
  • Changes in mood
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Slowed or slurred speech
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Head pain
  • Changes in hearing, vision, and perception
  • Loss of coordination
  • Issues focusing or making decisions
  • Loss of consciousness or gaps in memory, known as a blackout
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How Alcohol Interacts with Hallucinogens

Alcohol affects the brain similarly to shrooms.3 Consuming too much alcohol can alter a person’s mood and behavior. It can cause people to have issues with memory and motor control. 

However, there’s limited research demonstrating the effects of shrooms and alcohol together. Most of the combined effects come from people’s reported use.

Mixing alcohol and shrooms can cause unpredictable results. Many experts consider it a high-risk combination. Alcohol and mushrooms together can cause headaches, nausea, and panic attacks.

However, some researchers suggest that psilocybin may help with alcohol addiction. Psilocybin is an active drug in shrooms. The effect psilocybin has on reducing heavy drinking among people with alcoholism is currently being studied.7

What are the Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Mushrooms?

While users are often aware of the hallucinations they can experience taking mushrooms, the combined side effects of drinking alcohol with the drug vary.

The side effects of drinking alcohol on shrooms can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Faintness
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Increased body temperature

The Dangers of Mixing Shrooms and Alcohol

Experts confirm that shrooms have low toxicity and a low risk of addiction. However, it’s possible to overdose on shrooms. There’s also the risk of accidentally ingesting a poisonous mushroom while using shrooms.1

The effects of combining mushrooms and alcohol are unpredictable and vary from person to person.

Side Effects and Risks

Severe side effects and risks of mixing shrooms and alcohol can include:

  • A longer or more intense trip or unpleasant episodes 
  • Psychosis
  • Confusion
  • Challenges remaining awake or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Clammy heart
  • Loss of gag reflex, which can prevent choking
  • Low body temperature
  • Bluish or pale skin color
  • Death

If you or another person are experiencing any of these side effects, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

‘Bad Trips’

A bad “trip” can occur when taking shrooms alone or with alcohol. This may include hallucinations and frightening emotions. 

During a bad trip, people can place themselves or others at risk of harm. Some may show aggressive or violent behaviors.

Some people report consuming alcohol to reduce shrooms' effects and feel less high. But, there’s limited research supporting this. Results can be unpredictable.

It’s unclear how much alcohol is safe mixed with shrooms. Doctors don’t recommend drinking alcohol while using other drugs.

Anyone concerned about their well-being and the safety of others when combining shrooms and alcohol should seek immediate medical attention.

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Other Psychedelics and Alcohol

Some other psychedelics include: 

  • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Mescaline
  • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)

When mixing psychedelics like LSD with alcohol, people may notice that the effects of alcohol are reduced. However, similar to shrooms, results can be unpredictable.1

A study demonstrated that psychedelics might lower a person’s alcohol intake.8 But, this study doesn’t reflect the real-life use of alcohol and psychedelics.

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Summary

The effects of combining shrooms and alcohol are unpredictable. Some people report experiencing a lower effect of shrooms when mixing with alcohol, but this is still unproven.

People can experience bad trips when mixing drugs. If you or someone else experiences worrying side effects after taking shrooms and/or alcohol, seek medical attention.

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8 sources cited
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); Office of the Surgeon General (US). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health [Internet]. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016 Nov. APPENDIX D, IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
  2. United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug fact sheet, Psilocybin, 2020
  3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Alcohol’s Effects on the Body, niaaa.nih.gov
  4. NIDA. "Hallucinogens DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, niaaa.nih.gov, 2019 
  5. Nielson, Elizabeth M et al. “The Psychedelic Debriefing in Alcohol Dependence Treatment: Illustrating Key Change Phenomena through Qualitative Content Analysis of Clinical Sessions.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 9 132, 2018
  6. Daniel, Jeremy, and Margaret Haberman. “Clinical potential of psilocybin as a treatment for mental health conditions.” The mental health clinician vol. 7,1 24-28, 2018
  7. U.S. National Library of Medicine, A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence, 2014
  8. Hendricks, Peter S et al. “Hallucinogen use predicts reduced recidivism among substance-involved offenders under community corrections supervision.” Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England) vol. 28,1, 2014

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